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Nordstrom (JWN) Cuts View on Q1 Earnings Miss; Stock Down

Nordstrom Inc. JWN continued its dismal run as it reported first-quarter fiscal 2016 results, wherein both top and bottom lines lagged estimates for the third straight quarter. This also led management to cut its fiscal 2016 projections. Consequently, the stock crashed 17.1% in the after-market trading session, yesterday.

Nordstrom’s quarterly earnings of 26 cents per share came in way below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 45 cents and slumped 60.6% from the prior-year quarter figure of 66 cents. The first-quarter earnings include the impact of a charge of 10 cents, associated with higher credit chargeback costs and severance charges.

The bottom line bore the brunt of lower-than-anticipated sales and the company’s decision to resort to greater markdowns to efficiently align inventory with the existing trends.

Sales

Nordstrom’s total revenue rose 2.5% to $3,249 million, while total comparable store sales (comps) slipped 1.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was $3,293 million.

The company’s net Retail sales increased 2.5% to $3,192 million, while its Credit Card revenues plunged 43% to $57 million. Among the full-line stores, Midwest was the top-performing region during the quarter, while Beauty was the best-performing category.   

Nordstrom’s full-price net sales (including U.S. full-line stores, Nordstrom.com, Canada and Trunk Club) dropped 2.2%, with comps falling 4.3%. Off-price net sales (including Nordstrom Rack stores and nordstromrack.com/HauteLook) increased 11.8%, while off-price comps grew 4.6% on the back of strength in the Eastern region.

Sales continued to receive significant contribution from Nordstrom’s Rewards loyalty program, which represented about 38% of sales in the first quarter. Further, the company intends to extend this program by making a tender-neutral offering in the second quarter.

Operational Update

Nordstrom's gross profit margin contracted 164 basis points (bps) to 34.2%, mainly on account of greater markdowns as mentioned above.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, as a percentage of sales, escalated 149 bps to 32.7%, primarily due to higher credit chargebacks and severance costs, along with expenses related to technological advancements to support Nordstrom’s growth.

Store Update

Year to date, Nordstrom introduced 6 Nordstrom Rack stores, alongside relocating 1 full-line store.

Financials

Nordstrom ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $470 million, long-term debt, net of current liabilities, of $2,776 million, and total shareholders’ equity of $875 million.

During the quarter, Nordstrom generated $171 million in cash from operating activities. Capital expenditures during the first quarter were $205 million.

Further, during the quarter, the company bought back 1 million shares for about $50 million. Currently, Nordstrom has about $761 million remaining under its share repurchase authorization.

Guidance

Following a disappointing quarter, this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company lowered its outlook for fiscal 2016. The company now expects net sales to increase nearly 2.5%−4.5% in the fiscal, compared with 3.5–5.5% guided earlier. Further comps are now estimated to grow in a -1% - +1% range, against flat to 2% growth projected earlier.

Consequently, the company now envisions fiscal 2016 earnings per share in the range of $2.50–$2.70, down from $3.10–$3.35 expected earlier. The latest guidance also compares unfavorably with the current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.17 per share.

Also, management stated that the shift of its great Anniversary sale event by a week will likely weigh on second-quarter comps by about 200 bps, while the same is anticipated to boost third-quarter comps by 250 bps.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the same industry worth considering include Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ANF, New York & Company Inc. NWY and Shoe Carnival Inc. SCVL, each with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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ABERCROMBIE (ANF): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
NORDSTROM INC (JWN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
NEW YORK & CO (NWY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SHOE CARNIVAL (SCVL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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